Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO)







Combined sewer systems are wastewater collection systems designed to carry sanitary sewage (consisting of domestic, commercial, and industrial wastewater) and storm water in a single piping system to a treatment facility. In periods of rainfall or snowmelt, total wastewater flows can exceed the capacity of the sewer collection systems and/or treatment facilities. When this occurs, the combined sewer system is designed to overflow directly to nearby streams, lakes, and rivers, discharging untreated sewage and storm water. These overflows are called combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and can cause significant water quality problems.